Being a new mom can make you go through different emotions. You might feel anxious about your responsibilities as a new mother or feel overwhelmed with love or bliss. While it’s normal to feel different emotions following the hormonal changes that occur following childbirth, whether positive and negative, if you find that your negative emotions are becoming unmanageable, you might be experiencing postpartum anxiety.
Signs Of Postpartum Anxiety
Postpartum anxiety can occur alongside depression if you recently gave birth. Signs of postpartum anxiety vary from woman to woman. But common signs of postpartum anxiety include:
Obsessive thoughts are a sign of postpartum anxiety. Many moms are obsessed with their baby being harmed if they sleep at night. These types of thoughts can interfere or paralyze the mother’s ability to function during the day. Many women who experience postpartum anxiety feel like bad moms because of their obsessive thoughts, which often pop into their brains. These obsessive thoughts are distressing, and new moms feel embarrassed to admit they have these thoughts.
Trouble in Making Decisions
Mom experiencing postpartum anxiety will find it difficult to live her life the way she desires because she has anxiety and worry that hinders her ability to live her life. Anxiety can make it difficult for the mother to sleep, eat, exercise, make decisions, engage in other activities, think of seeing a friend or work colleague, and accept help with a baby. You need to seek help from a professional for postpartum anxiety if the intensity of your symptoms is affecting your function.
Worry About Leaving the Baby
Many first-time mothers feel anxious about leaving their babies with someone else. While it’s normal to feel worried about leaving your baby with someone else, the type of distress the mother is experiencing is called postpartum anxiety. If you find it difficult to leave your newborn baby, it is best to take a tapered approach.
Start by allowing someone you trust to take care of the baby while you are at home doing something else and slowly build to leaving the baby with the person for a quick errand.
Persistent and Extreme Worry
While the feeling of worry is considered a normal experience that all moms have, postpartum anxiety is diagnosed when a mom feels worried from time to time. Postpartum anxiety is described as persistent and extreme worry. These worrying thoughts may feel pervasive and even develop into a persistent feeling of fear. Women experiencing excessive worry may have high stress levels, constant anxiety about their baby’s safety, and difficulty relaxing. If these symptoms persist beyond 14 days, consult your doctor.
Mothers that experience postpartum anxiety feels like their emotions and bodies are in a heightened state. This means that a nursing mother goes from zero to 10 and might be in a constant state of fight or flight.
Getting Help For Postpartum Anxiety
We encourage you to speak with other moms and share your experiences if your thought to become a mom has been different from what you expected. If that doesn’t work, then you need to seek a doctor‘s help. The sooner you seek help for postpartum anxiety, the better you feel. Start by speaking to your doctor. They can:
- Suggest that you see a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health workers for treatment.
- Do tests to ensure something else isn’t the cause of your symptoms.
- Prescribe medications to help you.